The Wellington Firebirds squad has been named for the next round of the McDonalds Super Smash, and is highlighted by the return of cult hero Grant Elliott, and the introduction of Melbourne Stars player Evan Gulbis.
With the addition of Elliott there is now a quartet of 37 year old players in the squad. A third of them are 37.
Ordered by age, here is the Firebirds XII.
|Brent Arnel||37 years||345 days|
|Hamish Marshall||37 years||302 days|
|Grant Elliott||37 years||267 days|
|Michael Papps||37 years||164 days|
|Jeetan Patel||36 years||220 days|
|Luke Ronchi||35 years||234 days|
|Luke Woodcock||34 years||269 days|
|Steve Murdoch||33 years||129 days|
|Jade Dernbach||30 years||254 days|
|Evan Gulbis||30 years||262 days|
|Michael Pollard||27 years||41 days|
|Matt Taylor||24 years||299 days|
The average of this squad is 33 years and 263 days.
Were it not for Matt Taylor, hardly a spring chicken, the average would be a year higher. And there is a reasonable chance he will be 12th man. It is unlikely there has ever been an older team at First Class level
Luke Woodcock, 34 years and 269 days, is in the younger half of the squad.
Even the two overseas signings are 30.
In contrast Otago, with experienced players like Kitchen and Broom, has a squad average of 25 ½ years. Northern Districts, whose overseas players are older than Wellington’s, have a team average of 24 ½.
There is no reason why Wellington has this statistical outlier, other than a bowling coach who likes to play and Hamish Marshall finding a new home for his well-travelled career. If only James Franklin would return home.